How to Learn Montessori Geography in 10 Simple Steps

Teaching Montessori geography is all about sharing the world with children. The activities you provide might be very different depending on a child’s interest and age.

Children love hands-on work, and sharing world cultures and ecology can be exciting. Creating a geography experience your Montessori child will love is simple and easy.

Types of Geography

Geography is divided up into two aspects: physical geography of the earth and the political geography that consist of things like countries and their borders.

In the physical aspect, children can see, touch, and truly understand. This focus touches on geology, which looks at what the earth is composed of, and leads further into the study of rocks and minerals. This helps children get a better understanding of the concepts of political geography.

The following ideas provide you and your child lessons that feature hands-on activities for learning geography the Montessori way in 10 simple steps. These activities are great for small groups of younger children or older children who may help younger children with leaning.

  1. Puzzle Maps

Puzzle maps are wooden puzzles divided up by continents, states or countries. They are not traditional jigsaws that fit into one another, and each piece is a geographical form. The pieces have knobs so that small hands can arrange them easily. The pieces are color-coded to support their distinction.

These puzzle maps are intended to help with map skills more than challenge your child’s puzzle solving capabilities. Puzzle maps are best taught in conjunction with visual or sandpaper maps, with the puzzles as the next step. Children should be able to reference maps while carrying out the puzzles.

  1. Continent Boxes

Geography is meant to be learned in combination with culture and ecology. Learning about the people, animals, insects and plants that inhabit our world makes learning about its physical makeup more fascinating.

Try creating a small box for each continent, where you place maps, animal figurines, landmark models, picture books, and photographs of the people who live there.

Typically, children are fascinated by animals. An easy way to start learning about the world’s assorted creatures is to put animal figurines on a map. Children tend to focus on small objects and they are extremely vigilant in naming and classifying these objects.

Learning about geography as young children helps build a solid understanding of it as well as developing a lifelong appreciation for nature and the world we live in.

  1. Rock Activity

This starts by reviewing parts of the earth with types of rocks and invite your child to do the activity with you. You can review landmarks with cards and/or mini replicas and ask your child to match the mini replica and the image. Then ask questions and explain the background on how these landmarks or structures were built.

Match the landmark or structure with the type of rock from which it was made alongside your child. You can even bring out a globe and locate the area in which these landmarks are found, speaking specifically about what type of rock is found where and why.

  1. Geography Folders

Try making geography folders with pictures of the home continent and home country. The child can then move on to the other folders with different countries and different continents. These folders are presented with the maps.

You will want to take out the map of the home continent and place the picture of the continent in the center of a mat. Place one photo at a time around this map and discuss each one with your child. Add other images to the map and present them in a similar manner. You can choose to do a few at a time and come back to it at a later date. Once all of the pictures have been placed, the child can then work alone with the materials. This same activity should be done with each of the folders.

  1. Creation Stories

As part of all subjects’ children are told about the creation of the. This important lesson is based on today’s scientific evidence, but it’s important to honor the many other creation stories throughout history. This means reading tales that span a wide variety of cultures.

There are many learning opportunities that can be applied like discussing the similarities and differences between cultures. Children can then create artwork to represent the stories, or you can even have groups of children act them out. 

  1. Wooden Outline Map

A wooden map of the home continent with the outlines of each country is a great way to teach children about both physical and political geography. There are three holes in each country. One hole has a red circle around it and is for ta peg with the name of the capital. The other two holes are for the flag of the country and the name of the country.

This activity can begin with showing the child how place the country nametags where they belong. The child can check his work with a control map. Next you can help your child place the flags into the appropriate holes. Lastly, you can begin to teach the names of the capitals during this activity. Once your child knows the capitals, they can use the nametags on the wooden map.

  1. Vegetation, People, and Economy

It can be fascinating for children to learn about the variety of vegetation found in different biomes of the world. This leads into the study of the people in various biomes and how climate can change the way we live.

Children can explore concepts of economic geography and the economies tied to the different resources available in different regions. Children should be encouraged to analyze and question concepts like production and consumption.

  1. Land Air & Water 

Land, Air, & Water diagram can be made by gluing strips of blue, brown and white construction paper on a piece of cork board. In addition, place a prepared basket of objects next to the diagram with three labelled jars filled with water (and a little blue liquid watercolor), land (dirt from outside) and air.

Explain to your children that the earth is made up of land, air, and water. Showed them the labels on the jars, and ask them to explain which is which then match it with the correct cork board strip.

  1. Country Flags

Children find country flags fun and can learn in many different ways, but younger children learn best with visual and hands-on materials. One way to teach children country flags is by using 3-part cards. These are cards that are divided into 3 parts that helps the child see what the continents look like and where they are located on a map. It also includes the label card of whatever is on the photo or picture

Older children might be interested in the history of a specific flag and it is often listed on the back of the cards. If the child wants to know more, feel free to look it up in a book and learn more about that country while teaching your child language.

  1. The Sun and the Earth

Geography is often complimented by a series of charts that visually illustrate important information. These charts are mostly helpful when teaching children about the sun and the earth.

Its easiest to start by teaching children about Earth’s orbit around the sun as well as its rotation on its own axis. This leads into many lessons about concepts like day and night, the seasons, the zones of the earth, and even time zones.  A lot of time is spent teaching children about the composition of the earth which includes the different layers, the formation of mountains, faults, and volcanoes.

Final Thoughts

One of the easiest ways to teach children about geography the Montessori way is by using visuals and hands on learning. Your child will love to make a connection between what they see and they hear all while learning.

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